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Book Note: Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? The Surprising Science of Pregnancy

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Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies?
By Jena Pincott
Free Press, 2011

Reviewed by Katherine J. Barrett

It's a thought as tempting as chocolate itself: devouring that entire box of Ferrero Rocher in your second trimester not only helps you de-stress but sweetens your baby's temperament too. Could it be true? To find out, you'll have to read Jena Pincott's new book, Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? And after you savor the chapter on chocolate, you'll discover the science behind morning sickness, mamas boys, daddy genes -- and every other question you might have about pregnancy.

Pincott holds degrees in Biology and Media Studies and formerly worked as senior editor for Random House. She has published several books including Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes? and contributes to Psychology Today and the Huffington Post.

Pincott was expecting her first child throughout the research and writing of Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? The book begins with the symptoms of early pregnancy and ends with "postpartumology." In the intervening chapters, we follow Pincott through her own pregnancy and first few months of motherhood, share her firsthand experience -- "I've been eating like a truck driver" -- and her fascinating synopsis of scientific studies. Pincott explores every facet of the journey, not the what or how-to, but the why.

Why do pregnant mothers crave nachos and not steamed veggies? Why do skinny women have more girls? And why on earth does labor hurt so much?

Pincott gives her readers credit. We have Mommy Brain, shrinkage during pregnancy, neuronal growth postpartum, and both help us to remember what's important. New mothers aren't ditsy, they're incredibly focused. So Pincott doesn't dumb-down her writing. She wields words like epigenetics and orbitofrontal cortex and expects us to keep up. At the same time, she spices up the science with chat room buzz, the wisdom of novelists, and paraphrased comedy routines. Her chapter on sex during pregnancy, while informative, is anything but academic. Pincott reviews books like Healthy Pregnancy and Pregnant Sex. She examines the latest research and questions her own impulses and inhibitions. Her conclusion? "Cowgirls, ride on!"

With its provocative headings, single-sitting chapters, and surprising conclusions, Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? is perfect for new and expectant parents who, though short on time, still crave to understand the science behind the wonder of birth.

Katherine J. Barrett is a former senior editor for Literary Mama and  current editor-in-chief for Understorey Magazine. A mother to three young boys, Katherine recently returned to Canada after four years in South Africa. She is the author of the Literary Mama columns Mother City Mama and Of This Fantastic Peach. Katherine holds a PhD in Botany and Ethics and has previously taught at the University of British Columbia.

Katherine lives in Nova Scotia with her family.

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The title of some books alone make them worth the read, this is one! Thank you for sharing the fact that the contents are equally rewarding. I look forward to reading. Hugs!
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